Friday, November 18, 2005

The Vatican takes on Creationism...

Finally a victory for science is won by the Vatican...
The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design'' isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate raging in the United States.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design ideas alongside the theory of evolution in school programs was "wrong'' and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

"Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be,'' the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science.''

His comments were in line with his previous statements on "intelligent design'' -- whose supporters hold that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism -- a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation -- camouflaged in scientific language and say it does not belong in science curriculum.

In a June article in the British Catholic magazine The Tablet, Coyne reaffirmed God's role in creation, but said science explains the history of the universe.

"If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly,'' he wrote.

Rather, he argued, God should be seen more as an encouraging parent.

"God in his infinite freedom continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity,'' he wrote. "He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves.''

The Vatican Observatory, which Coyne heads, is one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world. It is based in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI waded indirectly into the evolution debate by saying the universe was made by an "intelligent project'' and criticizing those who in the name of science say its creation was without direction or order.

Questions about the Vatican's position on evolution were raised in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.

In a New York Times op-ed piece, Schoenborn seemed to back intelligent design and dismissed a 1996 statement by Pope John Paul II that evolution was "more than just a hypothesis.'' Schoenborn said the late pope's statement was "rather vague and unimportant.''

LINK: Vatican Astronomer: Intelligent Design is Not Science

And let us not forget the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

-Mr. Joseph

UPDATE (11/26/07):
Of course, Pope Benedict had to spoil the party...


Lone Ranger said...

And here I thought scientists were supposed to be open-minded. But science has become the cloak for self-imposed ignorance and anti-religious bigotry. The scientific community of today is no more enlightened than the Catholic Church of the Dark Ages.

Do you know how the Declaration of Independence was written? It seems that Thomas Jefferson's youngest son spilled a box of letter blocks out on the floor and there it was -- perfectly spelled and punctuated -- without a single block out of alignment.

Of course, rational people would never believe that story. But those same rational people DO believe something as infinitely complex as the universe could randomly come together after a Big Bang, perfect down to the tiniest subatomic particle, without any intelligent intervention.

If we are going to teach theories in our classrooms and discuss theories that make sense, it seems to me that intelligent design makes a lot more sense and takes far less faith than what's already out there.

Science and intelligent design are not mutually exclusive. And there are more and more people -- scientists included -- with OPEN minds, who are coming to realize that the universe makes a lot more sense if you include God in the equation.

Here is your mission. Dump a box of Lincoln Logs out on the floor so they randomly come together to form a two-story hunting lodge. With porch. If it doesn't happen when they hit the floor, just let them lay there. Maybe it will take a few billion years. Don't take your eyes off them. Just sit there. Wait for it. Wait. Waaait.

Mr. Joseph said...

A song comes to mind...
"Tooooo much, time on my hands!"

Anyway, look, Intelligent Desiugn is nothing more than Creationism. It is a tool made up by the Far Right Wing to combat Evolution, which apparently, makes them insecure about God. I fully believe in God, however I believe God used Evolution to form life as it is now.

Scientists are supposed to open-minded. However they are supposed to only analyze theories with some basis of fact. Intelligent Design has none. There is no reason to believe it, and even less of a reason to teach it in school.

But thank you for your comment.